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LOS ANGELES : Bilingual Requirement for 911 Operators Being Studied

Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

May 19, 1995

A Los Angeles City Council panel said it would consider recommending that all 911 operators be bilingual.

Police Capt. Thomas Elfmont, commanding officer of the Communications Division, said only one out of six operators on duty at any given time speaks Spanish.

"I'm very concerned about this issue," said Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, chairwoman of the Personnel Committee. "One out of six does not seem to me like an adequate ratio."

The committee asked the Personnel Department to report in a few weeks on the recruitment of bilingual operators. At that time, the panel will make its recommendations on ways to improve the 911 system.

This summer, Elfmont said, the Police Department will begin training a class of bilingual police service representatives, civilian employees who assist 911 operators in translating.

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